The first volume of Puella Magi Tart Magica: The Legend of “Jeanne d’Arc” showed Tart’s first meeting with Kyubey, and how she received the powers that would allow her to make her mark in history.
Naturally, the second volume picks up after that, focusing on Tart’s journey to restore peace to France.
There are a total of four chapters in this volume, from chapter five up to and including chapter eight.Tart presses onward in her quest to reach the Dauphin, the disinherited heir of France, and help restore him to the throne and, thus, her country to a state of peace. Her reputation as a fearless warrior and bringer of light has drawn loyal supporters who would stand and fight against England and the Duke of Burgundy. Tart’s power grows, both as a beacon of hope and as a magical girl, but a country girl cannot hope to wield such power without facing opposition and consequences…
Chapter 5 begins with French forces being utterly defeated in Orléans by just three magical girls. In response to this, Tart departs from Vaucouleurs. In Chinon, Gilles de Montmorency-Laval, otherwise known as Gilles de Rais, is made aware of La Pucelle’s approach.
Tart and her companions encounter a witch whilst travelling in chapter 6. Riz tries to defeat it, but it proves to be a tough opponent. In the end, Tart defeats it. However, she is still unable to control the output of her power.
When Tart arrives in Chinon, a fake Dauphin sits on the throne. She is able to see through the ruse, and identifies the real Dauphin. She shows him her power, and the Dauphin asks for her help.
A girl named Melissa de Vignolles is assigned to serve Tart in chapter 7. The French forces also start marching in order to break the siege of Orléans. They stumble upon a ruined village, and Tart and Riz go to investigate. Meanwhile, Cube approaches Melissa and tells her to follow him so she can witness a miracle.
Tart and Riz discover a witch, as well as a girl being held captive. They rescue the girl, and fight the witch. Cube leads Melissa right to them.
The girl they rescued reveals herself to be a magical girl as well, and she gives Tart a sword: the Epée de Clovis. With that, Tart is able to better control her magic output. The rescued girl disappears after that.
With Tart as their guiding light, the French are able to retake several forts in chapter 8. During some downtime, Tart gets drunk and starts hugging Melissa and Riz. Gilles de Rais tries to get in on that as well, but Riz tells him to stay away.
Meanwhile, the English army are in a state of panic concerning the French’s progress in just a few days. However, magical girls working with the English, led by Corbeau are eager to confront La Pucelle.
Sure enough, Corbeau appears before Tart, but it is Riz she ends up fighting. However, Corbeau isn’t alone, and she proves to be a powerful opponent.
Melissa ends up getting involved when her father gets injured, leading to Tart having to protect them. She ends up heavily injured, forcing Melissa to make a drastic decision.
Once again, there’s another wall of text at the end, this time concerning the night before Orléans. There are also character introductions after that for both the French and English armies.
One thing I particularly enjoy about Puella Magi Tart Magica: The Legend of “Jeanne d’Arc” is seeing magical girls use their powers in military engagements – not just to fight witches. Corbeau is particularly vicious with hers; that attack in Orléans at the beginning of the volume results in soldiers’ limbs being thrown everywhere.
Those text boxes containing information about specific points throughout the history of Joan of Arc’s story still persist, and stopping to read them really affects the flow of the manga. I suppose it does let the reader know how the history did actually unfold, but we can see Tart’s story unfolding before our eyes.
It’s not just the military stuff that’s good, either. I really like the fight scenes between the magical girls; after all, only other magical girls can be on par with magical girls.
As far as I’m concerned, Puella Magi Tart Magica is up there as one of the better Madoka spin-offs. There’s still a few more volumes until it reaches its conclusion, so hopefully that will still be the case by the time it has finished.